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NASCAR suspends winning Xfinity crew chief two races

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NASCAR has suspended crew chief Chris Gabehart two races, fined him $25,000 and docked Joe Gibbs Racing 25 car owner points for a violation with Denny Hamlin‘s winning Xfinity car.

NASCAR stated that the splitter was not flat. The finish is encumbered.

Joe Gibbs Racing does not plan to appeal the penalty, a team spokesperson told NBC Sports.

NASCAR also docked Xfinity crew chief Jeff Meendering $5,000 for an unsecured lug nut on Cole Custer‘s car at Michigan International Speedway.

There were no penalties in the Cup series.

In the Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR suspended crew chief Bruce Cook one Truck race, fined him $5,000 and docked the team 10 car owner points and Austin Hill 10 driver points for post-race front body inspection heights. Hill’s 14th-place finish at Gateway Motorsports Park is encumbered.

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Kyle Larson extends winning streak with another victory on dirt

Photo: All Star Circuit of Champions
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Kyle Larson keeps winning regardless of what he’s driving.

Larson won Tuesday night’s All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek race at Sharon Speedway, a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt track in Hartford, Ohio.

The victory marks Larson’s fourth in the last eight days – and his third in the last three days. His streak started June 13 when he won a World of Outlaws race at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway.

He followed that by winning Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. He won Monday night’s All Star Circuit of Champions race at Wayne County Speedway, a 3/8-mile clay oval in Orrville, Ohio.

Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu was third. Former Cup driver Dave Blaney, an owner of Sharon Speedway and father of Ryan Blaney, finished 11th.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson ‘made a lot of his own luck’ with Michigan restarts

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A few weeks after Kyle Larson lost out on a win at Dover because of a poor late restart, Larson used restarts to his advantage to win Sunday at Michigan.

Larson restarted on the front row multiple times throughout the race, on the inside and outside, and each time was able to beat the other car to the lead.

NASCAR America’s analysts discussed what Larson did right in order to win at Michigan, as Larson mastered the art of the side-drafting to win the day.

“Even though the 42 of Kyle Larson says a lot of things went his way, he made a lot of his own luck on those final few restarts,” said Steve Letarte.

Letarte and Slugger Labbe went over factors outside of driver ability that impact restarts.

“What helps the restart is what happens when the yellow comes out,” Labbe said. “You see the drivers shutting the cars off. What that does is manage the water temps. These cars, as the temperature gets hotter, the engine goes into protection mode and there’s less horsepower because it takes timing away, it puts fuel in the engine and it takes horsepower away. So if you don’t manage your temperatures when the yellow comes out, you’re going to pay the price when they throw the green flag.”

Parker Kligerman also further dissected Larson’s restarts at Dover and Michigan.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Michigan win celebrated by three generations of Larsons

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Kyle Larson‘s third Cup win Sunday at Michigan International Speedway was a family affair on Father’s Day.

Larson celebrate the victory with his father, Mike Larson, and his 2-year-old son, Owen, who was caught up in Larson’s Cars 3 paint scheme.

“My parents don’t get to come to a ton of races, they still live out in California,” Larson told NASCAR America. “It’s cool to be in victory lane with them. As well as Owen, with our car looking like Lightning McQueen’s, he was really excited about it.  I took him to the shop a few weeks ago and he was in awe of it. He was like ‘Lightning? Lightning?’ Going crazy.'”

Mike Larson had a feeling during the race’s final restart, when his son restarted on the inside, that he would have a chance at the win.

“I said to my wife and our friend that was sitting to next to us, ‘you know what? Kyle started on the bottom last year on that last restart when he won,'” Mike Larson said. “I thought I bet he can do this again. And sure enough, he did it and here we are.”

The elder Larson also talked about his son’s journey from go-karts to being one of the rising stars of NASCAR.

“I’m pretty much told him early on that go-karts is far as I’m going to be able to get you and talents going to have to get you the rest of the way,” Mike Larson said, adding his son said from 8 and 9 years old that was going to be in NASCAR. “I’d be like, ‘that poor kid, he just doesn’t know what he’s up against.'”

Watch the video for the rest of the interviews with Kyle and Mike Larson.

NASCAR explains when it calls debris cautions, when it doesn’t

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After criticism from the sport’s most popular driver and a former champion, NASCAR defended its calls on debris cautions Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart were critical of NASCAR calling a debris caution with 20 laps left in Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. That bunched the field. There were two cautions within the final 13 laps because of accidents with the field so close together. Twelve of the last 20 laps were run under caution. 

Stewart, a three-time champion, tweeted: “It’s a shame that so many drivers and teams day was ruined by the results of another “debris” caution towards the end of the race today.’’

Earnhardt, the 14-time most popular driver, said on Periscope after the race: “I don’t know why they’ve got to throw so many damn debris yellows.”

Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, explained on “The Morning Drive” how the sanctioning body decides to call a debris caution.

“We use all the resources that we have to try to identity what it is that is out there – that being camera, turn spotters and the communication that we’ve got around the race track to different people who may be able to see it,’’ Miller said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“If we are actually able to identify what it is and feel like it’s something that is OK to leave out there, then we’ll do so. But if we can’t identify what it is exactly, and it could pose something dangerous, then we’ll usually, or almost always, error on the side of caution and safety and put the caution out in those circumstances. Sometimes it’s untimely and a little bit unfortunate, but we do have to do our job and make sure that everybody is safe.’’

Miller was asked about why NASCAR didn’t call a caution Sunday when a cowboy hat blew on the track.

“We saw the cowboy hat,’’ Miller said. “We knew it was straw, and that it would disintegrate if somebody would hit it. Obviously, that was right in front of us. Clearly, we could tell what it is, and we opted to keep it green because we knew that it didn’t really pose any kind of a safety risk.’’

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